This week we continued with our coverage of key public speaking and debating skills with our St. Kitts International Academy Debating & Public Speaking Club, by turning to the importance of conclusions - how to complete your argument on a positive note - and how to summarise the key points in a debate. We also looked at how to incorporate rhetorical questions into a conclusion/ending of a speech. We also looked at summary speaking and structure and how to provide appropriate signposting or a list format to strengthen argumentation.
On the back of Sir Michael Morpurgo's call in the UK for the Government to invest urgently in early years reading our warm-up question involved:
'What is your current reading book and why should one read it?'
The key here was not what one was reading, but rather trying to persuade other people that this was a book worth picking up. We had great reviews of the Encyclopaedia, the Bible and Comic books.
We also asked:
'What is your favourite hobby?'
Here we heard wonderful descriptions of photography and painting. We also saw some tremendous examples of this work at the end of the session!
Our newsround involved discussion of the forthcoming US election (with primaries), continuing construction work in St Kitts, and the crisis in the Red Sea/Yemen. We also discussed the Cost of Living in St Kitts and how to improve educational spending and transport links.
Our debates this week looked at:
(i) 'This House believes television is good for children, rather than detrimental to learning'.
The proposition felt that it was an essential part of everyday life and that television could provide excellent learning opportunities - from scientific documentaries in giving people a chance to experience scientific knowledge that they would be unlikely to see in person. It was also felt that it would be difficult to follow sport without television. Opposition arguments raised concerns about 'copying', 'imitation' and how television whether with fighting and violence for examples might encourage children to behave in a certain way. There was also concern as to the need to get children outside and playing sport and thus improving their health more generally. The group voted overwhelmingly in favour of television at both tellings, but with the caveat that it needed to be 'age appropriate'.
Our second motion asked whether:
(ii) 'This House would provide more money for music in school'.
The proposition looked at uncovering talent, creating opportunity and the wider health benefits of music in education (and in life). How could one find the next great composer if children did not have an opportunity to learn music?
The opposition felt that whilst music was very important there were other crucial areas of education in need of funding, from Mathematics to Computer Science and coding and that these would help with jobs in the future, more than music.
Our third motion looked at the working/school week:
'This House would have a shorter working/school week'.
Here the voting split 50%/50%.
The Proposition liked the idea of more time to rest and a longer weekend for extra-curricular opportunities. It was also discussed that some countries working less than others, produce more (e.g. France). However, the opposition felt that a shorter week would be difficult for childcare and stop extra-curricular chances during the week and put more pressure on education more generally.
An excellent session!